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Case Study: Using coaching to improve working relationships

This case study illustrates how coaching was used to improve the working relationships of a senior manager who was showing signs of stress.

Overview

Rob is a senior manager in a large corporate organisation. His line manager asked him to consider coaching because he was gaining a reputation for losing his temper.  Rob had previously had problems with his heart and this was a worry to all.  Both Rob and his manager felt stress was a key issue, but were unsure how to progress.

Approach

In their initial session, Rob and our coach used the HSE standards as a framework to identify the sources of Rob’s stress, that is,

  • The Demands of people’s jobs
  • How much Control (or how much say) people have in the way they do their work
  • The Support provided by the organisation, line management and colleagues
  • Relationships at work, including promoting positive working, preventing/resolving conflict and dealing with unacceptable behaviour
  • The extent to which people understand their Role in the organisation and do not have conflicting roles
  • How organisational Change is managed and communicated

They quickly discovered that the problem was not the job itself, which was well defined and easily within Rob’s capabilities.  His line manager was on his side, if not always pro-active.  However, Rob was very frustrated at the way recent organisational change had impacted on his team.   His inability to influence some critical aspects of this change had led to frustration which had spilled over into anger, so that relationships were being soured at all levels.

In the second session Rob and our coach identified what Rob could realistically expect to influence/control, and whether he could ‘let go’ of what he couldn’t influence.  This ‘letting go’ proved to be Rob’s core challenge.  He had high expectations of others, and couldn’t hide his disappointment when he believed they were less conscientious than he was.

A third session was spent understanding where these powerful expectations came from, and how Rob could choose different responses.

Conclusion

By the fourth session, Rob was seeing positive change.  He had taken responsibility for the way he expressed his views and was using influencing styles that were paying dividends.  On a practical level, he had asked for and received communication process changes that would support his team in doing their jobs.  He was also putting a higher priority on his health, and began a weight control programme that eventually lost him 2 stone.

 

Please note: Names have been changed for purposes of confidentiality.

Find out more

 

Please get in touch with us if you have any questions.  We are always happy to talk about our courses and services to help you work out the best match for your requirements.

WHAT OUR CUSTOMERS SAY

"The quality of the training has been fantastic and our employees are really engaging with the trainer and getting something out of it. Also In Equilibrium makes the whole process very easy to arrange."

— Employee Engagement & Wellbeing Officer, Sophie Holland
AGE UK
 
 

"We wanted to provide a course that taught useful and practical coping strategies that our members could put into place straight away. In Equilibrium’s experience showed us that they could provide this, and they tailored the course perfectly."

— The Association of Electoral Administrators
 
 
 
 

"In-Equilibrium recently presented Mental Health Awareness to Managers in all of our area offices. The training was really well received and all of the trainers were praised for their in-depth knowledge and understanding."

 

— Roger Bullivant Limited
 

"The training was very well received by staff who now all intend to implement the session’s practical tips and techniques into their existing roles. A large proportion of the staff rated the facilitator and their delivery as excellent and their only recommendation was for a further and longer session!"

— Leeds City College
 

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